Sunday, February 29, 2004

The First Sunday of Lent

This is the first Sunday of Lent. In the Eastern [Byzantine] Catholic Churches the First Sunday of Lent is known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy. [It] commemorates the Triumph of Orthodoxy: that is, the victory of the True Christian Faith over heresies and enemies. The First Sunday of Great Lent celebrates the victories of the true Christian faith over heretics and other adversaries.

On the First Sunday of Great Lent, we traditionally have a procession with the holy ikons at the end of the Divine Liturgy, and all the ikons are held for veneration by all the people.

The reason for the procession with the holy ikons is that this Sunday especially celebrates the restoration of the ikons and other holy images to Christian worship after the defeat of the Iconoclastic heresy (heresy of Iconoclasm) of the 8th and 9th Centuries. (In Greek, the word "Iconoclast" means "image smasher".) Iconoclasm opposed the use of ikons, statues, and all images of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ and the saints. Many ikons were removed from churches and homes and were destroyed. In 843, under the Empress Theodora, there was the final restoration of the holy ikons. This action was know as the Triumph of Orthodoxy and is celebrated on the Sunday of Orthodoxy

There is more at this Melkite site. (Not all Eastern Churches use the Gregorian calendar and the Roman method of calculating Easter. Most in the United States seem to, though, and they observe the First Sunday of Lent at the same time as the Western Church. For those who do not, it will usually be some weeks later.)

Friday, February 27, 2004

Non-Movie Review

Not reviewed by me, anyway. I can't think of much more worthless than a movie review by one who hasn't seen the movie. So this one isn't by me but by Kenneth Woodward who actually has seen the movie. (What do you mean "Which one?" Is there more than one movie out?) Most of his comments seem particularly well taken when considering the nature of the criticism (and praise, for that matter) of the film.

From the New York Times:

Watching "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's new movie, I kept thinking the following: it is Christians, not Jews, who should be shocked by this film.

Mr. Gibson's raw images invade our religious comfort zone, which has long since been cleansed of the Gospels' harsher edges. Most Americans worship in churches where the bloodied body of Jesus is absent from sanctuary crosses or else styled in ways so abstract that there is no hint of suffering. In sermons, too, the emphasis all too often is on the smoothly therapeutic: what Jesus can do for me.

More than 60 years ago, H. Richard Neibuhr summarized the creed of an easygoing American Christianity that has in our time triumphantly come to pass: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment though the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Despite its muscular excess, Mr. Gibson's symbol-laden film is a welcome repudiation of all that.

The rest of the article is here.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

". . .not with a whimper, but with a bang. . ." (revised 26 FEB 2004)

Or, indeed, 275 bangs. I don't have a web citation for this. So you'll have to trust me, unless you can find a print copy of The Spectator for 21 February 2004.

From "Portrait of the Week":

The ashes of an expert on antique firearms were added to 275 cartridges, and friends of the dead man bagged 70 partridges, 23 pheasants, seven ducks and a fox with them.

I've played for some unusual funerals, but nothing to compare with this. Words fail.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Lenten Practices

There are some excellent methods for making a good Lent at Thomas Fitzpatrick's useful and inspiring Recta Ratio. Read them here at this link. There are people out there charging good money for subscriptions to spiritual publications that aren't as useful as his blog. Visitari decet.


The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday, which is the first day of the Lenten fast.

The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead -- or in case of clerics upon the place of the tonsure -- of each the sign of the cross, saying the words: "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." The ashes used in this ceremony are made by burning the remains of the palms blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. In the blessing of the ashes four prayers are used, all of them ancient. The ashes are sprinkled with holy water and fumigated with incense. The celebrant himself, be he bishop or cardinal, receives, either standing or seated, the ashes from some other priest, usually the highest in dignity of those present. In earlier ages a penitential procession often followed the rite of the distribution of the ashes, but this is not now prescribed.

That was from the old Catholic Encyclopaedia which was compiled just before, during, and after the first world war. So there are now a great many other wonderful old things which are not now prescribed. Or, indeed, even permitted by our most reverend fathers in God. But we are still permitted to receive ashes, although one year my wife was somewhat bemused to receive instead a ha'penny nail with a purple ribbon on it and told to "do good" or some such useful advice.

But we received ashes this year, she at the 6 a.m. Mass and I at the 8 a.m. thanks to the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, one of the soundest congregations left on the planet. Our parish is mostly Hispanic and this is a very important day in that culture; the priests will hardly have time to breathe until about 9 o'clock tonight. I quote you from Sunday's bulletin:

This week we begin Lent with Ash Wednesday. There will be many opportunities to receive ashes. Because of the large crowds that we are anticipating, we ask that you come to the Church only one time to receive ashes. The Masses will be celebrated at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 12 noon, 8:30 p.m. (English) and 8:30 p.m. (Spanish - in the old Church) followed by distribution of ashes. There will be no 6:30 p.m. Mass this day.

The distribution of ashes in the afternoon will begin at 3 p.m. and continue every 30 minutes until 8:30 p.m. No one will be given ashes without participation in the ceremony beforehand. At each ceremony, there will be a collection where everyone will have a chance to help the poor in our parish. If each person who receives ashes would give $2.00 we would have enough money to cover our poor program in Lent.

Please obey the Ushers. At each ceremony there will be an examination of conscience. . . . .

We highly recommend that as a sacrifice for Christ Our Lord, all men give up drinking liquor during Lent and women buy fewer cosmetics and wear modest clothing. We remind you that ashes do not have the power to save your soul. They are only a sign of the repentance that a person has, and should inspire us to make a good confession. If you are not sorry for your sins, the ashes will have no effect, and if you die in mortal sin they will not save you. . . .

Monday, February 23, 2004

Sold: Another Catholic Church

This one is old St. Ann's in New York. The Irish Elk comments here on the closure, sale, and eventual destruction of old St. Ann's in New York. It serves not only as one of the few homes of the traditional Latin Mass in New York but also as the cathedral of the Armenian Rite bishop.

Rumor has it that the new owner intends to use the space for parking.

On Reverence in God's House

I found this today, quoting William Laud, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, answering his puritan accusers on charges of superstition and "innovations":

For my owne part I take my selfe bound to worship with Body, as wel as in Soule, when ever I come where GOD is worshipped. And were this Kingdome such as would allow no Holy Table, standing in its proper place (and such places some there are) yet I would worship God when I came into His house. And were the times such, as should beat downe Churches, and all the curious carved worke thereof, with Axes, and Hammers, as in Psal. 74.6. (and such times have beene) yet I would worship in what place soever I came to pray, though there were not so much as a stone laid for Bethel. But this is the misery; tis superstition now adaies for any man to come with more Reverence into a Church, then a Tinker & his Bitch come into an Ale-house; the Comparison is too homely, but my Just indignation at the profanenesse of the times, makes me speake it.


You can't tell the players without a scorecard. Since no one has published a scorecard for properly pigeon-holing our fellow Catholics, here is one relatively reliable way. I was noticing two people at Mass this afternoon who were carrying bibles and they once again confirmed my personally constructed bible-version-as-politico-ecclesiastical-indicator stereotype. This is the framework:

The 8 cylinder turbo-charged traditionalist will not be seen with anything other than the Douay-Rheims. And for some few this will have to be the original, pre-Challoner version, poor old Bishop Challoner bearing the taint of having lived at the height of the 18th century enlightenment. The thin end of the wedge, doncha know. The Challoner Douay is met with in all categories once in a great while. But the pre-Challoner is a dead giveaway. This is your hard-core, not to be trifled with traditionalist.

The somewhat less-earnest traditionalist is well-satisfied not only with the Douay, but also occasionally with the old Confraternity version or once in a while even the RSV-CE. The problem with the Confraternity is that it's out of print except for one small edition of the New Testament.

The conservative seems to be married to the RSV-CE. Since it has not only the common-or-garden variety imprimatur of a bishop but also the more significant, albeit canonically unrecognized, imprimatur of Scott Hahn there is no gainsaying the RSV-CE to the conservative. The conservative views Scott Hahn with something only slightly less than hyperdulia and faces Steubenville to pray.

The liberal in his various places along the left side of the right/left number line has no particular version with which to categorize him. But whatever version he does use must be a "New" version. Not a Jerusalem Bible or a Revised Standard for our free-thinking friend. Oh, no. A New Jerusalem or a New Revised Standard it must needs be. This way the existence of the masculine sex will in no way interfere with his devotions.

Now, the New English Bible runs into a bit of a problem here. It is old enough to have incorporated the word "new" into its title before the word "new" came to refer only to the castrated version. So he who wishes to be thoroughly up to date needs to know that "new" is not sufficient. It is the Revised New English Bible which must be sought out.

The basic pew-sitting Catholic who is unaware of the need for a label to properly indicate his place in ecclesiastical politics is largely content to read the New American Bible. (Like the NEB, the NAB is too old for the "new" appellation to mean what it otherwise would.) If asked, this Catholic would probably hesitate a moment and then describe himself as "conservative". By this he really only means that he is pro-life, disapproves of immorality, and approves of EWTN even though his cable service only carries it from 2:30 to 5:30 in the morning. Chances are he has given no thought to shopping his bishop to the police.

And finally those who fall outside the boundaries of this little scheme. These are the folks who refuse to get with the programme and insist on carting about the Knox Bible, or the old Jerusalem Bible, or the old Kleist-Lilly New Testament or some such. You even run into the occasional King James Version, usually a convert unaware of the distress he causes by refusing to be immediately categorizable. On the plus side, most of these versions are out of print and so will become more and more statistically insignificant with time.

Now non-Anglican Protestants of my acquaintance seem to have settled almost universally on the NIV, although I suspect there are more that I am unaware of. But that's all beyond my ken. Some one of the separated brethren will have to sort out their team.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Five Minutes of Fame

As I think I've mentioned before I often take my pipes down to a local park to practice. I got talking to some city employees last month and, one thing leading to another, the local city cable system made a short - very short - film about me and my pipes for the said local cable system. I finally got to see it this weekend. What a relief: the playing doesn't sound half bad. Fortunately, there is narration over most of it so the fact that I was more conscious of the camera than I was of steady blowing is not at all obvious. I actually came across as a fairly decent musician.

So I am now World-Famous. Well, World-Famous in Lakewood. Meaning, of course, World-Famous in Lakewood amongst those who have the local cable system. Which is to say, World-Famous in Lakewood amongst those who have the local cable system and actually watch the local cable station. I realize this means three toddlers who've been plopped in front of the television while mommy makes dinner and who are too young to know how to switch the station to cartoons. But it's my fame and I intend to revel in it. So there.

The Family

The following is taken and essay by Fr. Vincent McNabb, O.P. published in "Flee to the Fields: the Founding Papers of the Catholic Land Movement" in 1934. This section was reprinted in the "From the Mail" column in the 19 February 2004 number of The Wanderer.

No human law can abolish the original and natural right of marriage; nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God's authority from the beginning: "increase and multiply".

Hence, we have the Family: -- the Society of man's home; a Society limited indeed in numbers but no less a true society -- anterior to every kind of State or Nation -- invested with rights of its own, totally independent of the civil community. . . .

The Family, like the Church, is a divine institution. These two institutions agree in being divine; and differ in that the Family is a natural institution, and the Church is supernatural.

Since the coming of Jesus Christ the Family might almost be said to be not only a divine but a supernatural institution. As if in gratitude to the Family for having given Him a welcome He raised to the dignity of the supernatural, the plighted love that unites husband and wife -- father and mother.

To value the dignity of this divine character of the Society which we call the Family, we must contrast it with that other great natural Society called, according to its various forms, by various names: Kingdom, Democracy, State, Nation, Commonwealth, etc.

As the Family and the Church have a certain agreement (divine institution), so , too, the Society called the Family has certain agreements with, and certain differences from the State. . . .

But the form of the family is not settled by the will of any member of the family -- nor by the father, or mother, or child. It is by the will and institution of God that the family is organized first in its physical side and secondly in its social and moral side. It needs no saying that it is by the ordination of God that woman is the child-bearer and child-rearer. It is by the institution of God that the father who has the physical possibility of these necessary acts has the moral necessity of being the breadwinner and the defender and therefore the leader or visible head of the family -- not of course in everything; but only -- in its family life.

What then is to be expected of a social policy that either explicitly or implicitly denies, but very effectively destroys this divine institution? The chaos or desert may be long a-coming but nothing can stay its coming.

As the reprinting columnist noted, remarkably prescient for 1934.

In spring a young man's thoughts turn to

. . . .Spring Training. And the Angels in particular. The Dodgers and their new G.M. have made the local papers lately. And that's nice; I wish them well. But so far as I can tell they are still a pitching staff in search of a baseball team. No matter how well you pitch, even if every game is a shut-out, at some point, in some way, you have to get at least one runner all the way around the bases to home plate. Until the Dodgers can do that - even if it's getting four guys beaned in row - this isn't going to be their year. As the late and greatly missed Jim Healy never tired of quoting Tommy Lasorda: "[They] couldn't hit water if [they] fell out of a boat."

But the Angels. Oh, my. I was asked my opinion some time ago (sorry, Joseph!) as to whom the Angels were going to face in the World Series this year. That's a tough one to even mention for someone whose only superstition is baseball. It's like talking about a perfect game before it's over. But, jeez. It's getting hard not to. Vladimir Guerrero. Bartolo Colon. And the bulk of the regular staff are no longer on the disabled list. Last year I think they were lined up in the hall waiting for treatment.
This year. . .yes, this year could be the second time.

[Ever tried to type with your fingers crossed? Isn't easy.]

Dominica in Quinquagesima

Shrove Sunday or Shrovetide in medieval England and Dominica ingressus jejunii. In short, three days until Ash Wednesday and Lent.

Here are the proper chants for today. They take a while to load but they're nicely done by a monastic choir. Not just a midi. The recording quality could be a bit better but it is recorded from a live celebration which is a plus.


O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

-from the old B.C.P.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

It Could Be Worse

Whatever trendy bright idea your parish featured last Sunday, never fear, it could be worse. Last Saturday at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, it was. It included this cutting edge gathering:

Last Saturday must have been a difficult day for St Paul. His cathedral, still covered in patches of scaffolding like pins supporting badly broken legs, was teeming, inside and out, with women in dog collars. In the crypt, an hour before the grand celebration of the tenth anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood, there were women priests of every description: fifty-something tiggywinkles with thick NHS spectacles; red-cheeked 30-year-olds, their clerical collars just visible above green fleeces; Laura Ashley skirts and sensible slip-ons mixed with smart black trouser suits and high heels. Exciting rarities included a very tall woman in black breeches waving a walking stick decorated with feathers; one with bright red hair and piercings; an octogenarian with a pink-rinse wig, and a pregnant priest in a brown velvet trouser suit. In the ladies loo, surrounded by an alarming gridlock of gossiping clerics, a black woman sang hymns as she combed her hair in the gust of hot air from the hand-dryer. Inside the cathedral, under the vast central dome, there was the usual Anglican mix. In front of me sat a female vicar, her bossy bust pointed altar-wards, beside me a retired army officer preened his moustache. As female clergy from all over England processed in from the Dean’s Aisle, one crop-haired woman pulled off a pair of round, pink sunglasses and hooked them on to the front of her surplice.

A short prayer of thanksgiving for Pope John Paul II and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is in order.

The rest of the article - if you can stand it - is in the latest number of The Spectator.

Monday, February 16, 2004


I received word today that Fr. John Mole, O.M.I. died over the weekend. Many will know him from his many articles in Christian Order and the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, or his books, including the classic work on the liturgy Whither the Roman Rite?

From Fr. Fisher, who annointed him:

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Fr John Mole
O.M.I., at the age of 93. He made his vows in 1941 and was ordained to
the sacred priesthood in 1947. Originally from Chester-le-street,
England, but for many decades in Canada. Father died peacefully in
L'Edifice Deschatelets, Ottawa following declining health, fortified by
the rites of Holy Mother Church, which it was my privilege to be able to
give to him in the traditional rite.

Fr. Mole had a website here primarily for preachers using the new lectionary, but useful for private meditation also.

God rest his soul.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Sexagesima Sunday

. . . . is the eighth Sunday before Easter and the second before Lent. The Ordo Romanus, Alcuin, and others count the Sexagesima from this day to Wednesday after Easter. The name was already known to the Fourth Council of Orleans in 541. For the Greeks and Slavs it is Dominica Carnisprivii, because on it they began, at least to some extent, to abstain from meat. The Synaxarium calls it Dominica secundi et muneribus non corrupti adventus Domini. To the Latins it is also known as "Exsurge" from the beginning of the Introit. The statio was at Saint Paul's outside the walls of Rome, and hence the oratio calls upon the doctor of the Gentiles. The Epistle is from Paul, II Cor., xi and xii describing his suffering and labours for the Church. The Gospel (Luke, viii) relates the falling of the seed on nood and on bad ground, while the Lessons of the first Nocturn continue the history of man's iniquity, and speak of Noah and of the Deluge.


Up, Lord, why sleepest thou? Awake, and be not absent from us for ever: wherefore hidest thou thy face? and forgettest our misery and trouble? Our belly cleaveth unto the ground: arise, and help us, and deliver us. Ps. ibid. O God, we have heard with our ears: our fathers have declared unto us. V. Glory be.


O God, Who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do: mercifully grant: that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all our adversities. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is St. Paul who is the doctor of the gentiles. In the old days the stational church for this Sunday was St. Paul Outside the Walls. This site explains the reference this way:

When Italy was invaded by the Lombards in A.D. 568, and the city of Rome was in danger of being captured and sacked, the Bishop of Rome led his clergy and congregation outside the walls of Rome on three successive Sundays to celebrate the Liturgy, as a sign that they sought their chief protection not from fortifications but from the providence of God.

Traditionalists in the Times

The L.A. Times Magazine has an article this morning called either "Strictly By The Book" or "Beyond The Trappings" depending upon whether you rely on the magazine cover or the table of contents. The web version is here where it is called "Beyond The Trappings".

It's surprisingly even-handed for the Times. Things did not look promising based on the table of contents blurb: ". . .the breakaway faction rejects the Vatican and some followers hold fast to a fundamentalist dogma that stigmatizes Jews -- a controversy surrounding the film by a fellow traveler, Mel Gibson." In fact, the author fails to find any anti-semitism and discovers the priests and people to be rather normal and rational, if a tad un-P.C.

The disappointment is that there is hardly a word about indult traditionalists. The concentration is on the SSPX and the various local (L.A. area) independent chapels. No traditionalists in union with Rome are interviewed and no Mass centers are referred to. There are 5 in the L.A. Archdiocese and 2 in the Orange Diocese. And one or two in San Bernardino. It would have been nice to have our existence acknowledged.

What is appreciated is that Hutton Gibson's nut-cake views are put on the far outer fringes of the conservative/traditionalist continuum where they belong. The author was not able to find anyone, SSPX or independent, with a kind word to say about them.

Well, you can read it for yourself at the link above. But if you're going to, then do it this week or you'll have to come up with 3 or 4 bucks to ransom it from the Times' archive.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

St Valentine, Priest & Martyr

As February 14 rolls round once again, everyone knows immediately that it is the feast day of. . . .Ss. Cyril and Methodius. Oh, yes it is. It's right there in your 2004 liturgical calendar. In a move that one would think even such an unimaginative bureaucrat as Annibale Bugnini would have had second thoughts about, the liturgical tinkerers removed one of the only two saints days that the average American could recognize. St. Valentine has vanished from the new calendar.

St. Valentine lives on, if marginally, in secular tradition. And, of course, he is still celebrated in those communties which use the 1962 calendar. The following notice of his life is from the Matins reading in an old breviary:

On this day is commemorated blessed Valentine, a priest of Rome who was martyred for Christ, probably in the persecution of Claudius the Goth, about the year 269. He was buried on the Flaminian Way; and about 350 a church was built over his tomb, and later a catacomb was constructed thereunder, wherein were buried the remains of many Martyrs This church, with its cemetery, was the first to greet the eyes of pilgrims coming to Rome to visit the sepulchers of the ancient heroes of the Faith, and therefore his cultus grew, and spread through the world. But in the early years of the ninth century, his body was transferred to the basilica of St. Praxedes, lest being outside the walls of the City, it should be desecrated by the Saracens. The popular story is that holy Valentine was cajoled with promises in order to wean him from Christ; and that when these failed he was beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded. In England, from the time of Chaucer onwards, there was a belief that on this feast-day the birds began to choose their mates. From which arose the custom of arranging betrothals in Saint Valentine’s Tide; and in honour of the fidelity of this servant of God, those who were betrothed called each other Valentine, as a pledge of their mutual fidelity in token that those who wed are united together in Christ, of whose unbreakable union with humanity in his Church, the Sacrament of Marriage is ever an outward and visible sign. -T.A.B.

The picture above is of the shrine of St. Valentine in the Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. (Officially it is the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the principal church of the Ancient Observance Carmelites in Dublin.) Underneath the statue are the relics of St. Valentine, donated to the Irish Carmelites by Pope Gregory XVI. More about the church and the shrine and St. Valentine can be found here.

Friday, February 13, 2004


"Friday the 13th comes on a Friday this month."

. . . .and remember: it's bad luck to be superstitious.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Three Wise Persons

That's right. It seems the Church of England wants us to know that this "three wise men" stuff is all wrong. "Wise men and women", doncha know. And the "three" is problematical, too. You can thank the Summa Mammas for discovering this in today's Independent at this link.

(It does explain why they stopped to ask directions. Three wise men travelling on their own wouldn't have stopped to ask directions. After all, they had a perfectly good star to guide them. Three guys would never have stopped to ask that shady Herod character anything.)

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Mobile Pipe Band

And almost in need of lessons in how to sit like a lady.

[They're members of this band.]

It is Septuagesima Sunday today

Septuagesima Sunday, on which the canticle of the Lord, Alleluja, ceases to be said.

And Lent is just around the corner.

Introit : Ps. 17: 5 - 7, 2-3

Circumdedérunt me gémitus mortis, dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me: et in tribulatióne mea invocávi Dóminum, et exaudívit de templo sancto suo vocem meam. Ps. Díligam te, Dómine, fortitúdo mea: Dóminus firmaméntum meum, et refúgium meum, et liberátor meus. Glória Patri.

The pains of hell came about me; the snares of death overtook me. In my trouble I called to the Lord. . .So He heard my voice out of his holy temple. . .

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my mountain fastness, my refuge and my deliverer. Glory be to the Father.

"They gave me a good time in Cuba."

Now how often does that happen? And this was in a prison camp. The Daily Telegraph gives Mohammed Ismail Agha's story here.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

God for Harry and St. George!

5,000 Welsh bowmen are to take the field and once more face the French on the field of Agincourt. It seems a French developer wants to turn the sacred battlefield into a "windfarm" so forces are being rallied to turn back the French chivalry. Uh, developer. Thanks to The Edge of England's Sword for the reference.

[We have a windfarm in this state in Livermore. It's just downwind of the state legislature in Sacramento. Another coincidence? You decide.]


The ever-observant Chad Dimpler wonders.

Need to practice your Gregorian propers?

You can find a page with a nice selection here. A wonderful collection of Gregorian chant which I found referenced at incidents and accidents, hints and allegations an eclectic and delightfully written blog which I only happened upon this afternoon.

Hilarious, IMHO

I ordered their cds this week and they came today. I laughed until my side hurt. You may need some legal background to "get" the full flavor of this group's satirical take-offs. But it's excellent music even without the satire. They have some short excerpts on the site. Try a couple.

"Imagine me as God.
I do.
I think about it day and night.
It feels so right
To be a federal district judge
And know that I'm. . .appointed forever."

Little Sisters of the Poor

There is a fine article this morning in, of all places, the Los Angeles Times on the home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of the Poor in San Pedro. You can find it here. (But don't wait too long. The Times will eventually archive it and charge you to see it.)
The Little Sister's house is also the site of one of the Los Angeles Archdiocese's indult Masses. This one occurs on the first Sunday of the month at 11 a.m.

The article mentions the house's need for money but it fails to mention that their address is Jeanne Jugan Residence, 2100 S. Western Avenue, San Pedro CA 90732-4331 should anyone want to donate. Not that I'm hinting or anything.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Election 2004: The Movie

Mark points out in the Irish Elk that John Kerry bears a striking resemblance to Herman Munster. Yes, indeed. I have thought for a while that Fred Gwynne would have played a great John Kerry had he not died.

Now look closely at that picture of Howard (the photo, not the drawing) in the banner which the Curt Jester has so kindly gifted us with. Is that Steve Martin or what?

[I used the search feature on Amazon to find that last image. I entered "Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels" and the first in line in response to that was a book entitled "Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic". Amazon has a very cynical search engine.]

Recurring Thought

The landmark Apple Macintosh commercial has been in the news lately. You can find it here and play it in Quicktime (naturally). I can't help wondering: was it the inspiration for this?

Book of Divine Worship again

I've been using the Daily Offices from the Book of Divine Worship lately. This is a wonderful way of prayer. Whatever about Thomas Cranmer's personal orthodoxy, the man knew his way around an English sentence. (And any worries anyone had about orthodoxy should have been alleviated by the Roman vetting of the book, reportedly by Dom Alcuin Reid who has updated Fortescue/O'Connell for use in the 1962 Roman Rite.)

Small recommendation. This has been recommended before but I would like to join the opinion. It really should be in two volumes. The current size is far too big; its portability is difficult. And I really only have a need for Rite I; I can't imagine ever using Rite II. So a Rite I volume and a Rite II volume would be perfect.

While on the subject of the AU, a DVD of the Anglican Use Mass is being planned. Anyone who might be interested can register to be notified here when it is ready. Since it doesn't appear I will ever be able to attend one in person, my name is on the list.

Mission San Miguel

One of California's historic old Franciscan missions was very badly affected by the earthquake in that area late last year. The mission church of San Miguel, the only one still containing the original Indian painting and decorations, is locked and in serious danger. The official website is linked in the headline above; a more extensive article on the damage is here.

As I was saying. . . .

Blogging slowed down to a crawl toward the end of January as I tried to finish a project that was due at the end of the said January. And then it vanished for the first week of February as I did all - well, most - of the things I put off in January. And there was a great gig last Wednesday for a PR firm. It involved travelling around Orange County piping a keg of Smithwick's into various pubs to introduce the brand to this area. And now recovering from a bout of diverticulitis (I think it was the salad with walnuts that did it.) Blogging may take my mind off this soft food business. A diet of scrambled eggs and cream of wheat is rather more Lenten than I had planned on for the week before Septuagesima Sunday.

Sunday, February 01, 2004


. . . .is not only the feast of St. Bridget of Ireland but my grandmother - my mother's mother - was born on this day in 1879. She was the matriarch of our clan and the source of most of our family's proverbs and parables. She would be 125 today. Requiescat in pace, Grandma.